Diego Costa scored his fiftieth and 51st most effective League objectives as Chelsea overcame spirited Southampton 4-2 on Tuesday to ascertain a seven-point lead on the prime of the table.
Diego Costa scored his fiftieth and 51st most appropriate League targets as Chelsea overcame spirited Southampton four-2 on Tuesday to establish a seven-level lead on the top of the desk.
Costa arrange Eden Hazard's early opener, which was once cancelled out through Oriol Romeu, earlier than Gary Cahill restored the hosts' lead at an unseasonably chilly Stamford Bridge.
Costa sealed victory with a second-half brace, ending a seven-sport goal drought and heaping the pressure on second-location Tottenham Hotspur, who seek advice from in-form Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Ryan Bertrand brought a stoppage-time consolation for Southampton, who remain ninth.
Having beaten Spurs in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday, Chelsea's latest win reaffirmed the standing of Antonio Conte's aspect as England's team to beat.
They face a thorny go back and forth to Everton this weekend and have now long past eleven league games without a easy sheet — their longest run seeing that 1996 — however the ending line is just 5 video games away.
Hazard, Costa and Cesc Fabregas back to the Chelsea XI after beginning Saturday's 4-2 win over Tottenham on the bench and so they mixed for the fifth-minute opener.
Fabregas's move from halfway despatched Costa scampering away down the within-proper channel and his cut-again was once swept into the bottom-left corner through Hazard.
The Belgian ahead has now scored 15 objectives in a optimum League season for the primary time, his easiest tally since netting 20 times for Lille in 2011-12.
The trio were at it once more shortly after, Costa deftly cushioning Fabregas's go into the trail of Hazard, who curled smartly huge.
but there had already been nervy moments in the hosts' penalty area — an unmarked Jack Stephens volleying tamely at Thibaut Courtois — and ahead of long Southampton have been level.
James Ward-Prowse's nook from the left was inadvertently flicked on by using Cesar Azpilicueta and reached the unattended Manolo Gabbiadini at the again put up.
The Italian's pass-shot flicked off Courtois and was once tapped in by using Chelsea old boy Romeu, who had remaining scored in January 2016.
Set-pieces continued to show the home aspect's Achilles heel, with Courtois obliged to swat away a deadly Ward-Prowse free-kick before Sofiane Boufal thrashed into the aspect-netting at a nook.
A storming run via N'Golo Kante forced Stephens right into a desperate headed clearance and Costa had a penalty attraction grew to become down, however Chelsea had been on the ropes except Cahill struck in first-1/2 stoppage time.
Kante's deep go was helped on by means of Marcos Alonso and with Costa launching himself right into a mid-air scissors kick, the britain captain charged in bravely to head residence.
Costa would no longer be denied the subsequent time he obtained a sight of intention within the 53rd minute as he brought up a half-century of league objectives on his 85th appearance seeing that signing from Atletico Madrid in 2014.
After a brief nook with Hazard, Fabregas lofted a pass to the far publish and Costa held off Bertrand to plant a header past Fraser Forster.
Dusan Tadic labored Courtois with a skidding effort and Gabbiadini hit the facet-netting after again being left unmarked at a corner, transferring Conte to angrily kick a bag beside the dug-out.
Chelsea club captain John Terry came on for the ultimate 5 minutes and was once afforded a standing ovation in his first look considering announcing he’s going to leave the club on the end of the season.
After Kante and replace Pedro had threatened for Chelsea, Costa made it four-1 with a pleasant late intention, swapping passes with first Hazard after which Pedro prior to drilling a low shot earlier Forster.